Meet and Greet Scheduled

We have a meet and greet scheduled for Saturday, September 12th. This is a chance to meet Jennifer, find out more about Cassie’s Cats, and meet other supporters. We’ll also bring items from our shop so bring your wallets! Who wants to be the first person to let us officially use our portable PayPal card reader? 😉

This will be a physically-distanced event and masks will be required. Feel free to come by at any time during the event and stay for however long you’d like. Bring your own coffee or tea (no food or drinks will be provided out of consideration for health).

The details:

Saturday, September 12th
Thille Park in Ventura (see map here)
9:30am – 11:00am
See the event listing on Facebook

Hope to see you there!

August Updates

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I feel like I just wrote the July update. Time seems to crawl and yet here it is, August 9th already. On to some updates!

Since the last post, we’ve raised about $670 and had some generous in-kind donations as well. We took in a foster named Amiga who was thought to be pregnant (turns out she wasn’t). She stayed with us for about three weeks, returned to SPARC to be spayed, and went to her forever home about four days after that! The same day we took Amiga in we brought home Toby and Kelly, two underweight and fearful kittens. They’ve been here about a week now, completely come out of their shells, and gained roughly 5 ounces. They still have a ways to go to get to a healthy weight for their age but they’re doing great so far.

We continue to watch what is happening in Ventura County with regard to coronavirus infection and hospitalization rates. Ventura County is still on the state watchlist and so we continue to bide our time until it is relatively safe to open a non-essential business. We have been researching different types of business insurance and what those costs might be, learning the difference between “Triple Net” and “Modified Gross” leases, and making more items for fundraisers. We found a new scheduling plugin for the website that might work well once it’s time to open and start accepting reservations and payments online. Jennifer’s mom donated some two-layer cotton masks in a beautiful cat print and they have been a big success, bringing in about $230 in the past couple of weeks. We still have some left in the shop.

Our support base continues to grow! We are up to 134 Facebook followers and 213 Instagram followers. The more we can get the word out, the better off we will be when it is time to open! We’d like to hold some kind of physically-distanced meet-and-greet so supporters, future volunteers, etc. can meet Jennifer and each other. We’re still working out how to that safely.

In the meantime, please share our Facebook and Instagram posts as well as our fundraisers with your cat-loving friends and family! Thank you. 🙂

Why Are We Fundraising?

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You might wonder why we are trying to raise money when we don’t even have a physical space yet. I want to make sure that our followers and supporters know what we are doing with the money we raise and what our plans are.

We’d like to open in a relatively high-traffic part of Ventura so we are looking at midtown and possibly downtown. That said, we want as much money to go toward saving cats and kittens, so we also don’t want to spend every last penny on rent. With good visibility, we will be easier to find and have more visitors. We’d like to open near other small businesses and try to establish some synergy where possible.

When we find the right spot to get started we will need to fix it up and furnish it. We’ll do as much of that ourselves for as cheaply as possible without sacrificing quality but there will be expenses associated.

And then there will be day-to-day costs. Rent will likely be at least $1500 and could be closer to $2000+. My (very) rough estimates for food and litter come out to about $400 for 8 cats in a month. Utilities, WiFi, insurance, scheduled and unexpected vet visits, etc. will all factor in as well.

We want to be responsible about all of this. Ideally, we will have a 3-month buffer in the bank. Right now, we have almost $1800 in the bank and the promise of another $3000 or so from the board once we have leased a place. Minimally, our goal is $6000 available when we sign the lease and start prepping to open. We want to be able to weather whatever comes our way so that once we open we can remain solvent and continue fulfilling our mission.

If you would like to help you can share our Facebook and Instagram posts and encourage friends and family to support our fundraisers. Everything helps! If every Facebook follower donated $5 we’d have over $600 right there. If every follower found one friend each to buy one toy off the website that would bring in another $500. It all truly adds up. Thank you for supporting our mission!

New Foster: Mama Amiga

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We took in a new foster on Monday, an adorable tabby/calico named Amiga. She came into SPARC as a stray and they had a feeling she might be pregnant. They performed an ultrasound and sure enough, kittens! I got a call asking if I could take her in and after figuring out where to have her stay safely while Coriander and Saffron are still here, I said yes and drove over to SPARC to pick her up.

Coriander and Saffron go back to SPARC Saturday afternoon for their spay/neuter surgeries and then to their “furever” home after that. Once they have moved on (sniff, sniff) I will deep clean the back room and move Amiga back there. For now, she is in a playpen in our daughter’s room (she’s living out of state for college so we have a little extra space on our hands). Amiga is probably not due for a few weeks, so we will just let her relax and keep her well-fed and well-hydrated. She’s very affectionate and friendly, and I am looking forward to getting to know her personality better.

If you’ve wanted to foster but didn’t think you had the room, these playpens can be very helpful. An extra bathroom, den, or bedroom works too! I like setting up these clear panels that can be found on Amazon for my fosters, but for several years I used the playpen until I felt the kitties could roam safely in my laundry/craft room.

Welcome, mama Amiga! Can’t wait to meet your kittens. 🙂

Mama Amiga, our newest foster

July Update

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With COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations increasing in Ventura County we continue to watch and wait for a safe time to open the lounge. It would not be considered an essential business and as a non-profit organization, we need to be fiscally responsible. So, we wait. We have had some success with various fundraisers, raising about $300 since our last blog update. It is normal for donations to slow down once our immediate friends and family members have made their donations and our goal now is to grow our base of followers and supporters via Facebook and Instagram. The Facebook account has almost 130 followers and the Instagram account has a little over 170 followers. We’re sharing updates on fosters, thanking donors, showing off our cat-related clothing (#fridayfelinefinery), posting about new fundraisers, and more.

In terms of fundraisers, we have all kinds of handmade items for cats in our shop: bow ties, large kickers, mini kickers, felt toys in the shape of Scottie dogs, ladybugs, squirrels, and even fortune cookies, and more. We have 7 shirt/sweatshirt offerings and a Cassie’s Cats branded mask in the Bonfire storefront. Soon we will have a set of four watercolor notecards. The artwork is courtesy of one of my students from Oak Grove, a rising senior named Anna, and her paintings are beautiful. We can’t wait to get the notecards into the shop!

Thank you as always for your support. If you have any questions or would like to get involved, please feel free to reach out. 🙂